It is known that effectiveness of acne treatment increases when the lesions are detected earlier, before they could progress into mature wound-like lesions, which lead to scarring and discoloration. However, little is known about the evolution of acne from early signs until after the lesion heals. In this work we computationally characterize the evolution of inflammatory acne lesions, based on analyzing cross-polarized images that document acne-prone facial skin over time. Taking skin images over time, and being able to follow skin features in these images present serious challenges,
due to change in the appearance of skin, difficulty in repositioning the subject, involuntary movement such as breathing.
A computational technique for automatic detection of lesions by separating the background normal skin from the acne lesions, based on fitting Gaussian distributions to the intensity histograms, is presented. In order to track and quantify the evolution of lesions, in terms of the degree of progress or regress, we designed a study to capture facial skin images from an acne-prone young individual, followed over the course of 3 different time points. Based on the behavior of the lesions between two consecutive time points, the automatically detected lesions are classified in four categories: new lesions, resolved lesions (i.e. lesions that disappear completely), lesions that are progressing, and lesions that are regressing (i.e. lesions in the process of healing). The classification our methods achieve correlates well with visual inspection of a trained human grader.